Preview: Connecticut Sun | Aug 16, 2019

HOW TO WATCH

Friday’s game at Mohegan Sun Arena against the Connecticut Sun will be livestreamed on leaguepass.wnba.com. Fans can also follow live stats on stormbasketball.com or on Twitter by following @Seattlestorm.

LAST TIME OUT

The Seattle Storm fell on the road the Washington Mystics, 88-59, in the final regular-season meeting between the 2018 WNBA Finals teams. Natasha Howard led the team across the board with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.

After Howard poured in the first eight points for Seattle, Sami Whitcomb connected from deep to spark a 13-0 Storm run. Mystics head coach Mike Thibault turned to his bench to start the second quarter, which would go on to outscore the Storm reserves 35-14. Tianna Hawkins led the efforts off the bench with 14 points – all coming in the first half – to put Washington ahead by three at the break.

Making her second start in place of the injured Kristi Toliver (right knee), Aerial Powers finished the game with a team-high 16 points. She and Ariel Atkins lifted Washington to a 15-point lead in the third quarter, but Howard’ fourth 3-pointer and a pair of Crystal Langhorne free throws cut the Mystics’ lead to eight heading into the final frame.

Washington quelled the Storm momentum in the final frame, scoring 29 points while limiting the Storm to just eight on 3-of-13 shooting.

Eastern Conference Player of the Week Elena Delle Donne was held to 14 points after troubling the Storm with 29 points on Aug. 2.

SERIES HISTORY

The Storm rounded out a four-game road stand with an 81-67 loss to the Connecticut Sun on June 16. Natasha Howard scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and two steals and Jewell Loyd had 15 points, three steals and two assists. Jordin Canada was not with the team after sustaining a knee injury two days earlier in Washington.

Alyssa Thomas scored a team-high 20 points while Shekinna Stricklen added 16 of her own, going 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Howard dropped 11 points into the first quarter and Shavonte Zellous came off the bench for eight points in the second period, but the Sun led by 11 at halftime. Seattle reclaimed the lead with a 12-0 run to start the second half, and Loyd contributed 11 in the frame to keep within one possession of the Sun. However, Connecticut pulled away late with combined 16 combined points from Thomas and Jonquel Jones.

SCOUTING CONNECTICUT

The Sun defeated the short-handed Phoenix Mercury, 78-71, on the road on Wednesday. Jasmine Thomas finished with a game-high 18 points to edge out Phoenix’s DeWanna Bonner, who finished with 17 points and five rebounds while Britney Griner served the first of a three-game suspension. Bria Holmes came off the bench to lead all reserves with 11 points.

Connecticut’s starters began the game 8-of-12 from the field to build a double-digit lead. Holmes padded the Sun’s margin with 10 points in the second quarter and Connecticut led by as many as 20 in the third. The Mercury came within one possession of the Sun halfway through the final frame, but Thomas added five quick points to complete the wire-to-wire win.

UP NEXT

The Storm returns to the University of Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday, Aug. 18, to host the Minnesota Lynx on Breast Health Awareness Night at 4 p.m. PT on JOEtv.